“Selection and Election of the Correct Person as the Head of the State” -The BIGGEST challenge before the Sinhala nation at the forthcoming Presidential Election -Part 111
Posted on November 1st, 2019

Dr Sudath Gunasekara Former Permanent Secretary to Prime Minister Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranayaka and President Sri Lanka Administrative Services Association (1991-1994)

29th. Oct. 2019.

My assessment of the Presidential Candidates 2019

I have selected only three candidates out of the list of 35 Presidential aspirants contesting for this assessment as I feel they are the only candidates who will make an impact at this election. They are Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (SLPP), Sajit Premadasa (NDF) and Anura Kumara Disanayaka (NDf)? All these three represent the former SLFP, UNP, and JVP respectively, contesting, under three new names, as all three old partiers, the SLFP, UNP and JVP are politically dead and already buried.  None of the other candidates will be discussed here as all of them will lose their deposits with the rare exception of Hisbulla and Sivajilingam, if they manage to get a sizable number of communal votes.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (SLPP)

Besides his patriotic disposition and proven capacity in leadership as a manager and a leader who is abundantly endowed with the qualifications, I have enumerated in part 1 of this series, which I quote below for your easy reference. (Published on 29.9.2019 in Lankaweb)

The BIGGEST challenge before the Sinhala nation at the forthcoming Presidential Election is the selection and election of the correct person as the head of the State” who can and who has the capacity and ability to,

First, reclaim the Augean political, economic, social and security mess created by the politicians of this country for the past 71 years since 1948 and particularly during the last 4 ½ years.

Second, solve the sky-high problems in all these fields heaped up before this country, due to the blunders made by those who are supposed to have ruled this country since the so-called Independence in 1948 and thereafter and again more particularly during the last 4 ½ years of miss-government and total anarchy.

Third, restore and rectify the lost rights of the Sinhala nation in particular while safeguarding the legitimately due rights of all communities in this country without compromising the birthrights of the native Sinhala people

Fourth, restore law and order and sanity in the country and who will also lay the foundation to make this country a strong, vibrant and prosperous nation in the near future.”

In my considered opinion Gotabhaya, backed by Mahinda Rajapaksa, the ex-President, is the only person out of all the candidates contesting, who is suitable to be  the correct person to be elected as the head of the State” at the forthcoming Presidential election. The whole Sri Lankan Nation, I think has already come to this unanimous conclusion.  

He is the official candidate of the SLPP the real and legitimate successor to the SLFP found by SWRD and nursed by Mrs. Bandaranayaka and Mahinda Rajapaksa. Now that those elements of the former SLFP who marked time with MS also have finally joined the SLPP, they together represent the only political party that stands for the 2500 year Sinhala Buddhist heritage in this country as it has clearly demonstrated from its past record ever since 1956.

Gota is the key man who planned and executed the 2009 war against the LTTE that ended up with the complete eradication of the LTTE outfit within the country. Besides ending the war he also has the record of making Colombo the best city in South East Asia in his post-war assignment.

He is also fully backed by the former President MR, the most outstanding leader of this country after Mrs. Bandaranayaka and the most charismatic and popular national leader in the country at present who is loved and admired by the people as a great patriot and as the leader who defeated the LTTE and constructed a first-class network of carpeted roads all over the Island for the first time after Henry Ward the greatest road builder Governor during the colonial times (1855-1860). This Gota –Mahinda union is the biggest asset for stable and patriotic Government. Gota also represents all the political parties of the SLPP Front and their policies that won a landslide in 2018 Local Government elections. He is also not a boaster and his composure in addressing both public and professional meetings, I would rate above board and highly dignified. As I see him, he means business and his priorities in nation-building are very clear and not vague and he comes out with direct solutions for the burning national problems without any ambiguity. He never throws mud at other candidates. He talks on facts and figures. He always ends up his speeches saying ‘tamunnanselata saha apage desayata Jaya weva’ tamunnanselage yuutkama karanata  etakota mama mage yutuka karanata poronduwenawa. He never talks bullshits like Sahit who displays immaturity and his ignorance and practice MPHOT (Monkey praises his own Tail) talks. He does not make empty statements of building castles in the air like Sajit whose speeches are full of such statements like I will make it heaven and give my head. Gota’s policy statement issued on 25 clearly demonstrates what I say here. His statement clearly shows that it is geared first for restoring security, good governance and law and order and much needed political stability that forms the sound foundation for economic social and cultural development in the country.

Political stability the most vital requirement for economic and social development even within the much-debated provisions of the 19th Amendment want to be a problem at all for him firstly as Mahinda Rajapaksa his own brother will be Prime Minister under his Government. Secondly, all partners of the SLPP will stand as one united driving force for nation-building. In addition, almost all the professional groups also have vouched to support him in his mission. In this backdrop, even though the country is faced with a grave economic crisis due to the loans piled up by this government where the national debt ratio to GDP stood at the end of 2018 at 80%, rescuing the country and taking it forward, I don’t think will be a problem for his government under better management and long term political stability, until the next General Election that is certain to give them a landslide victory.  If Mahinda could collect the majority in Parliament on the 28th he can straight away swear in as Prime Minister on the 18th itself making way for a Gota -Mahinda Government until the Parliament is dissolved in March.                   

As has been proved on record Gota in my opinion, genuinely stands for the people and their heritage. What is more, is he comes from the Dutugemunu tradition of the Ruhuna the Land of Dutugemunu.  Being Gotabhaya, I wonder whether he is an incarnation of Gotabhaya the famous and most outstanding warrior of King Dutugemunu. His past record, both as a soldier in the army and later as the Defense Secretary (from 2005 -2015) has abundantly displayed the highest qualities of a strong warrior and an able team leader and a patriotic Statesman, the crying need of the present-day Sri Lanka for whom all Sri Lankans are looking forward.

In this backdrop, in the field of good and effective governance, he is the best person who can skillfully handle the national priorities like national security, restoring Law and order, containing terrorism, extremism and separatism and restoring discipline and much needed political stability in the country, the prerequisites for economic development and efficient Public Administration and taking rational decisions on all matters pertaining to governance. I don’t see any other candidate who is better qualified to lead the country than him among all others on the list. All of them are light years behind him as I see it.

Beside his personal attributes and track record as the Defense Secretary during the LTTE war, he also has the full support of all the venerable Mahasangha all over the country, particularly those deeply committed to the protection and upliftment of the Sasana and his own brother MR, the most loved and charismatic, living politician in the country and almost all patriotic professionals and majority of people in this country. In him, I see a combination of people like DS, SWRD, Mrs. B, Lalith and MR among our local leaders and among world leaders like Lee Kwan Yu and Mahathir Mohammad who raised their countries to miraculously high levels. He is steady, firm and genuine. His art of addressing election meetings and even professional forums and the way he moves with all people with confidence and his preparedness to listen to others, unlike Sajit who says he doesn’t want any advice from anyone as he knows everything. In this backdrop, I rate him obviously as the only person who can handle the present crisis situation in this country. For these reasons honestly I feel he is exactly the kind of man with a clear vision and a mission, the country needs today.  

I have no doubt that the government under him will dispel all dark clouds piled up in heavens by this Government and will usher in a new era of sanity, a new political culture, development, and prosperity.

Finally, we will have a stable Government and a prosperous tomorrow ending up this country as the miracle of Asia in the 21st century for posterity.

I wish him and the country good luck under his administration

My prediction on his (our) victory

As I have said even before at this election he will definitely start with 65 lakhs when Sajit is tottering behind with 22 lakhs. His block vote consists of the

SLPP   4,941,952                            44.65%

UPFA     989,821                             8.94%

SLFP      491,835                             4.44% polled at th2018 Local Government election

            6,423,668                          50.03%

Together these three Parties with a 3% increase from new votes and defections from UNP). Gota will poll at least 6,616,368. Added to this will be Tamils and Muslim votes disgusted with their communal leadership will also give another increase say at least 2 00,000. Then that total might exceed 6,800, 000 more even more. No one should get surprised even if the total exceeds 7,000.000 at the UNP vote base is getting eroded.

 In this context, assuming that majority of Tamils, Muslims and UNP will abstain, I expect Gotabhaya to poll anything between 65 to 70 lakhs, which will easily give him the 50+% lead required to win ending up around 65%

Under these circumstances I can assure you Sajit will never exceed 27 lakhs at this poll the way the UNP vote base has crashed this time and go on record as the UNP candidate who polled the lowest at any election and you will definitely get anything between 65 to 70 lakhs; an unprecedented record by anyone.

Devo vassatu kalena- sassa sampatti hetucha

Pito bhavatulokocha- Rajaa bhavatu Dhammiko.

Sajit Premadasa

Of Sajit Premadasa, I can only say that he is the son of R. Premadasa which of cause is one of the main factors that stand against him as the political record of Premadasa has not left many pleasant memories in the minds of people. He also does not have any plus factors his Father had. The main factor however behind his sudden rise as the UNP Presidential candidate is nothing but Ranil’s 25 years of total failure as the            UNP leader. The inside revolt against Ranil that rallied round Sajit by a disgruntled set of UNP MPP is the result of his failure to lead the UNP.

The fact that there is no one else, other than Premadasa, within the rank and file of UNP who is better than Sajit is the other. Ranil’s failure to find a scape goat-like Fonseka or Sirisena this time, as he did in the past, and Sujits readiness to jump into a sinking ship at mid seas caught in a politically deadly massive hurricane was another. Sajit’s inability to realize that he has to swim upstream a roaring river with many a steep waterfall and deadly rapids at a time the UNP is at its lowest level of popularity like in 1956 in the country after a 4 ½ years of political bungling by his own Party is another reasons that has pushed him in to this situation. Persuaded by anti-Ranil elements within the Party and his overestimation of his own popularity in the country, poor Sajit, I think has committed political suicide or harakiri in the first place by fighting tooth and nail to get the nominations for this election. If I were Sajit, I would never have taken this decision. Instead, I would have willingly promoted Ranil to contest and take the tall of the miserable defeat and taken over the leadership of the party after his defeat and get prepared for 2025 elections that might have a better chance than this election. Sajith decision at a time where defeat for UNP is a foregone conclusion is real political suicide for him.

I don’ think any sane man or woman with a wee bit of brain looking at the miserable performance of the UNP within the past four and half years will ever vote the UNP. Only those few Kapuwat , meruwath api UNP mad hats’ whose political indigestion and constipation are incurable even by surgical operations will vote the UNP this time. Majority of UNP Sinhala Buddhists also will not vote a UNP candidate at this Election, when they see the Governments dead silence against the devastation and vandalism done to their Buddhist religious places in the North and the East by extremist Tamil and Muslim elements and how even archaeological ruins are being used to construct even lavatories by them while the government keeps mum.

How on earth a man who has no brain to understand that much can restore a ruined country, let alone run it as the Head of the State. People of this country know how he has kept dead silent as the Minister of Cultural Affairs, and do so even now when 100 of ancient Buddhist sacred places in the north and the East were bulldozered and razed to the ground by communal Tamils and Muslims. What did he do when Tamil Hindu Extremists created havoc by not allowing even the cremation of the resident Monk at Gurukanda Viharaya in the Mullative area? Then also what action he took regarding Mudu Maha Viharaya while it is almost obliterated by Muslim extremists.  His inaction proves that either he does not know the culture of this country or keep silent for fear of losing Tamil and Muslim votes, for the UNP.

 Instead, he is taking people like Rauf Hakeem and Rishard Badurdeen all over the country to address his meetings. Another glaring example of his ignorance about our culture was displayed when he named all villages supposed to have been built under the Ministry of Cultural Affairs in Tamil and Muslim majority areas, as Nagar and Purams thereby complicating the place names of this country by adding new Tamil and Muslim names at a time when we are trying to replace even all English names given by Europeans during the colonial times with the local ancient names  Out of 107 new villages he is supposed to have built with public funds mostly Sinhala Buddhists, he has villages as 18 Gramams, and 17 villages as Nagar and 4 Purams as reported in Mavbima October 7th P.03. What right he has to give such Tamil names to villages on this land of the Sinhala Nation with their tax money.

Additionally, I was aghast to see the way he addresses election meetings these days.  All his speeches at public meetings one after another, are the same. Just like a parrot, he repeats the same rhetoric at every meeting. I wonder whether he memorizes and repeats it at each. Overall they have no substance or meaning. It is just simply empty rhetoric as I see that makes the audience laugh. They are so boring and they never display expected qualities of oratory, leadership or Statesmanship. He addresses the voters as obala. He says he does not want advice from any and he knows everything. His body language, the words he uses, things he says at the highest pitch and his style of speaking reminded me of that famous late Maradana thug Choppe Aiya. Very often he poses himself like a bodybuilder and never like a future President of this country. His latest promise is to provide free sanitary packs monthly for women. Next time he might say that he will have a separate Ministry for this service which he has identified as a major national problem in this country. People laugh their guts out when they hear this kind of loose talk from a Presidential candidate.

 Having listened to his speeches I have my doubts whether he will poll even 22 Lakhs out of the 32 lakhs UNP got at the last 2018 Local Government Elections, with his latest election promise to give a cortex pack every month to every woman who needs it. The more he speaks; I think the more votes he will lose. The other day I saw a Buddhist monk at Anuradhapura advising him to be careful in his use of words.  I won’t be surprised even if he fails to poll 22 lakhs and go on record as the UNP candidate who polled the lowest in history. I don’t think anyone who has a wee bit of brain will ever vote a man like this as their President.

What is more tragic with his campaign is that all his star speakers are extremists minority leaders and terrorists like Hakeem, Rishard Badurdeen and Abdul Rahuman who ask Muslims to vote for Premadasa if they want to sing the National Anthem in Arabic. Every vote cast to Sajit is a vote against the Sinhala nation and Buddhism in this country.  Every vote for Sajit is a vote for Hakeem, Rishard Badurdeen and Hisbulla. Therefore it is a vote for Muslim terrorism Compared with Gota, he is only a Lilliput before a goliath.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

When he criticizes the failures of the present Government he seems to have completely forgotten that he is also responsible for all those blunders as the Deputy Leader to Ranil, the worst leader the UNP ever had and who destroyed the grand old UNP party of DS. The gradual wearing away of the UNP vote base over the past 4 ½ years, especially after Feb 2018, by now has come down to abo 22 lakhs. The Chandrika Sajit Pact will further worsen his vote base.?

Above all how can we expect a Cabinet of people like Ranil, Mangala, Ravi, Rajita, Badurdeen, Champika, John Amaratunga, Fonseka (The defense Minister named), Malik Samarawickrama, Daya Gamage and Kiriella, all rogues, traitors and first-class jokers under Sajit, with Ranil again as PM who has destroyed the UNP and t5he Country for the past 4 and ½ years, to restore good governance and take the country now to Prosperity? No one on earth will believe it even in his dreams. Don’t you think that it is like expecting feathers from a tortoise?

Finally even if by some misfortune of the nation and the country or some international conspiracy,which can mean anything, if Sujit is made the President, a Government under Sajit Premadasa’s Presidency will be a period of utter chaos and confusion leading again to another 5 years of total anarchy in this country due to continuous infighting, between Ranil and Sajit camps.  Ranil has already said that he will be the PM under Sajit. This will further badly reduce the vote base of Sajit. But Sajit also has said otherwise. Lack of vision and clear cut economic or governing policies, collective responsibility and love for the country and the people it will be a hundred times worse than the Sirisena – Ranil regime. Then where are we going to end up?  The whole nation must seriously pose this question before they cast their vote this time.

Can we afford to have another dark period like what we had for the past 4 and ½ years This being the worst government we had ever since 1948 do we want to have the same team including Ranil and Sajit for another 5 years.  This is the billion-dollar question I pose before the patriotic people in this country.

Anura Dissanayaka

Everybody in this country (Except the JVP cadres) knows that NDF candidate Anura Disanayaka can never win this election as the maximum he can poll will not exceed 693,875 they poled at the 2018 Local Government elections. Since all voters know that this is a Presidential Election between Gota and Sajit and there is absolutely no chance of Anura getting elected as the President. Therefore some JVP voters might opt to vote one of the two main contenders of their choice as they would like to feel that they have cast their vote to elect the President-elect of this country.  Additionally first, their realization that Anura will not get elected as the President and second, their emotional and psychological changes that might develop within their conscience to go with the unprecedented Island wide Sinhala Buddhist resurgence and the feeling for the country and their heritage might tempt them to vote the candidate whom they feel can rescue the country from the present Augean mess. Therefore the JVP might poll much less than expected this time. It could be even less than half of what they polled in 2018. But I have Anura’s name also here as he might be the only candidate who will not lose his deposit with the probable exception of Hisbulla, and Sivagilingam both of whom may save their deposits if extremist Tamils and Muslims in the North and East decide to vote them on communal grounds.

I do not want to waste valuable news site space and my reader’s precious time and my own time on other candidates as they all will forfeit their deposits and end up only as also ran candidates”.

Every vote cast on any one of these 32 is a national crime and every vote cast on Sajit and Anura this time will be a vote against the Sinhala nation, a vote against the country and a vote against the Saasana.

               One last word for Buddhist monks in this country and even Catholics, Hindu Priest and Muslim religious dignitaries. Every vote cast for UNP and JVP is a vote against the religion as both these Parties stand for a secular State. Professor K.M.De Silva, in his latest book D.S. The First Prime Minister of Ceylon (1884-1952) has said even D.S. Senanayaka, the Father of the UNP has refused to get religion involved in the affairs of the State when some Buddhist delegates headed by Buddhist Monks requested him to give the foremost place to Buddhism as it had been the tradition from the inception of history in this country. This clearly shows the attitude of the UNP to Buddhism in this country.

All Buddhist Monks I think should seriously keep this in mind when they vote a UNP candidate or get on a stage to ask the people to vote a UNP candidate. How can any Buddhist priest wearing the Buddha’s Robe on earth, under these circumstances ask a Sinhala Buddhist to vote a die-hard  UNP candidate at any election?

If you want to feel that you have voted to save the Sinhala nation, Sambuddha Saasanaya and the 2500 year old Sinhala Desaya, vote for Gothabhaya, assuming that he is de facto incarnation of Gothabhaya, the warrior who helped Dutugemunu to liberate this Island Nation in the 2nd century B.C.in the war against Mighty Elara, the South Indian Invader who ruled the North for 44 years. Also remember he is the man who executed the war against the LTTE, which the whole world thought un-winnable.

 So I plead the whole nation to vote Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to save this country, the Sinhala nation, and the Sambuddha Sasana and our 2500-year-old Great heritage in this country

My above conclusions are based on the following six premises

1 Going by the 2018 Local Government election results

2 An opinion survey conducted by telephone calls and personal interaction

3 Random analyses of election meetings, press reports and speeches of the three candidates by self.

4 Past Presidential election results and

5. The general antipathy of people towards party politics and politicians in this country

6 my own understanding and conviction on Sri Lankan politics

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